Good new t-nation article (VO2/cardio write up)

Orion

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I found this pretty interesting myself because I didn't really ever look at cardio like this for some reason. After reading the #3 point I'm thinking to myself "well duh!" but for some reason I never thought about it like this:

http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=2035719

Ah-ha! #3: Cardiovascular programming is an ass-backward concept.

I don't know when I first thought this, but it was confirmed to me when viewing Lance Armstrong's performance in the New York Marathon.

Throughout my college education, countless training certification programs and seminars, I'd been taught the same thing: that cardiovascular exercise was necessary to improve the cardiovascular system and subsequently aerobic performance. But there seemed to be an inherent flaw in that argument.

Let's say I tested your aerobic fitness through a treadmill test.

Then let's say that for the next sixteen weeks, we developed a five-day per week aerobic training program that involved you running at various heart rates and for various lengths of times. The program would progressively increase in difficulty and duration, and the end result was a very significant improvement in your aerobic fitness.

At the end of this sixteen-week period, how much do you expect your swimming times to have improved? Marginally, if at all, right? It seems almost stupid to ask. But wait a second. If you have one cardiovascular system, why doesn't your cardiovascular system improve across the board regardless of the activity?

More to the point, why didn't Lance Armstrong, with perhaps the highest recorded VO2 max in history, win the New York Marathon? Or beat people with lesser aerobic levels than himself?

The seven-time winner of the Tour de France, the greatest endurance cyclist, quite possibly the greatest endurance athlete in the world, finished the Marathon in 868th place, and described the event as the "hardest physical thing" he'd ever done.
Lance Armstrong

"I'd rather be cycling."

The flaw in this thinking was looking solely at VO2 max: the "engine," as it were. It's fair to say that Lance had a "Formula One" engine, but his wheels and chassis were built for a different kind of race. In other words, he just didn't have the structural development for running.

Lance was a cyclist: his body had adapted to the demands of cycling, but not to the specific demands of running. In fact, the longest distance he'd ever run prior to the Marathon was 16 miles. Lance had developed strength, postural endurance, and flexibility in the correct "cycling muscles," but it didn't transfer to running the way his VO2 max did.

The muscles don't move because of cardiovascular demand. It's the reverse. The cardio system is elevated because of muscular demand. We need to program the body based on the movements it's going to perform, not based on the cardiovascular system.

Basically, if that muscular system can't handle the stress of performing thousands of repetitions (which is what you're doing, after all, when running or cycling), then we have to condition that muscular system first. And by doing so, we automatically improve cardiovascular conditioning.

The only reason there's any demand on the cardiovascular system is because the muscular system places that demand: the muscles require oxygen in order to continue to work. In fact, cardiovascular exercise is impossible without moving the muscle first.

I've seen this across various sports. The cardio conditioning required to run a 10K won't transfer to motocross or jujitsu.

Conclusion: If cardio training doesn't transfer well from one activity to another, and it only 'kicks' in because of muscular demand, we should program muscular activity first in order to create a cardiovascular response.
 
Interesting. So for combat sports, the best cardio for it would be sparring then.
 
The muscles don't move because of cardiovascular demand. It's the reverse. The cardio system is elevated because of muscular demand. We need to program the body based on the movements it's going to perform, not based on the cardiovascular system.

The words "good" and "t-nation article" are a contradiction in terms, unless it's something by Berardi. It's a body-building Web site, after all.

Good to know that sprints, HIIT, jumping rope, tabatas, running, etc. won't help my cardio. The only things I can do are striking and grappling. Been wasting all this time.
 
lance armstrong wasn't really training to win the event, it was more for charity. he stated before the race that he wanted a sub 3 hour run if i remember correctly
 
The words "good" and "t-nation article" are a contradiction in terms, unless it's something by Berardi. It's a body-building Web site, after all.

Good to know that sprints, HIIT, jumping rope, tabatas, running, etc. won't help my cardio. The only things I can do are striking and grappling. Been wasting all this time.

You have to be selective in what you read on T-nation; Cosgrove is a very knowledgable writer, but with point#3, I have to disagree.

"The cardio conditioning required to run a 10K won't transfer to motocross or jujitsu."

While I agree with this MOSTLY, a high aerobic capacity WILL transfer to other sports. Using Lance in a charity race as the ultimate example is blurring the actual concept of variety in training.

Like John said, there's a reason athletes, especially MMA athletes, so a variety of type of conditioning. On a personal note, my conditioning in the ring didn't improve until I started doing more HIIT outside of class, completely unrelated to sparring.
 
The words "good" and "t-nation article" are a contradiction in terms, unless it's something by Berardi. It's a body-building Web site, after all.

Good to know that sprints, HIIT, jumping rope, tabatas, running, etc. won't help my cardio. The only things I can do are striking and grappling. Been wasting all this time.

They help to a certain point but like they said in the article, when it becomes sport specific, training in that sport specifically is going to increase your cardio more than anything. If I had to choose sparring more or doing burpees, I'd choose the sparring. Does that mean that burpees etc. are totally useless? No. Of course they supplement your cardio, but not enough to where it's optimal for a fight.

They said Lance Armstrong could run 16 miles. That's a pretty damn good carry over from his cycling. But it wasn't enough to win in a marathon. I'm betting the 1st place winner trained for a marathon.

The point of the article is some people just rely completely on one type of endurance work when you need to look at the full spectrum and add more of one or the other. This article was a reminder of a revelation I had months back when I was just focusing too much on the HIIT craze and not enough on my sport itself.

ps. Just because the site focuses mostly on hypertrophy doesn't mean it's a bad site to pay attention to for other information. Theres plenty of great articles on there by guys like Cosgrove and Cressey.
 
I agree with this point to a certain degree.

I remember when I was younger I would skip for 20 mins straight. Figured I could jog for 20 or so.

I was dying by 5 mins.


I believe this article along with any other article (t-nation or not), its a tool to use.
 
The words "good" and "t-nation article" are a contradiction in terms, unless it's something by Berardi. It's a body-building Web site, after all.

Good to know that sprints, HIIT, jumping rope, tabatas, running, etc. won't help my cardio. The only things I can do are striking and grappling. Been wasting all this time.

Cosgrove and Cressey are both regular contributers with very interesting articles. Dave Tate used to have contributions. Let's also not forget Dan John is also a regular. CT has some background cred, despite the stuff he writes about nowadays. Boyle, TC, and Shugart are retards though.
 
Boyle, TC, and Shugart are retards though.

Add Waterbury to that list. The only articles I find myself going back to are Tate's and Dan John's.

For a guy that talks about the 'pendulum' of fitness swinging to extremes, Cosgrove went and did that exact thing with this piece. Yes, a degree of specificity must be present, but to write off anything not replicating the sport as he seems to be inferring is ridiculous and goes against what most people have proven in training.
 
I didn't get taht impression from the article. I think he was just inferring stuff that we've known all along. Regardless, yes, Waterbury needs to be on the retard list.
 
Waterbury needs to be on the retard list.

You want to hear about a fitness revolution??? Lift things fast! And while your at it, lift more often! UNBELIEVEABLE GENIUS OMG
 
I didn't really like the article, especially the point that strength is the single most determining factor in a sport. That being said I generally agree with Cosgrove on the whole cardio thing. Guys on here swear up and down that the old paradigm that fighters have to do distance running to be in condition. When was the last time you've seen a distance runner prepare for a marathon by doing bag work?
 
I didn't really like the article, especially the point that strength is the single most determining factor in a sport. That being said I generally agree with Cosgrove on the whole cardio thing. Guys on here swear up and down that the old paradigm that fighters have to do distance running to be in condition. When was the last time you've seen a distance runner prepare for a marathon by doing bag work?

I feel like I'm stalking you JRT.


Let me ask you a alternative question. When was the last time you saw a good fighter with poorly conditioned legs?

I'm not saying running, cycling, swimming whatever, I'm just asking about poorly conditioned legs.
 
"The cardio conditioning required to run a 10K won't transfer to motocross or jujitsu."

While I agree with this MOSTLY, a high aerobic capacity WILL transfer to other sports. Using Lance in a charity race as the ultimate example is blurring the actual concept of variety in training.

Since you commented that you agree with the statement "mostly", you probably already understand the comment I'm about to make.

Just for clarity, I don't think that Cosgrove meant that there is no crossover benefit from training something other than your specific sport. Although, I completely understand how one could think that by how the article was written. What I believe he is implying is that there is an aspect of local muscular endurance and neural efficiency involved with sport specific movements that contribute highly to being able to "last longer" in your sport. Those are the things that may not necessarily have carry over. But of course, VO2 max and conditioning in general will always have crossover benefits.
 
I feel like I'm stalking you JRT.


Let me ask you a alternative question. When was the last time you saw a good fighter with poorly conditioned legs?

I'm not saying running, cycling, swimming whatever, I'm just asking about poorly conditioned legs.

I agree that fighters need conditioned legs I just disagree with you on the method. Compare the legs of a sprinter vs that of a distance runner. I want the sprinter legs in a fight. Or better yet the wheels of some them rubgy players that look they could carry the whole team down the field.
 
I agree that fighters need conditioned legs I just disagree with you on the method. Compare the legs of a sprinter vs that of a distance runner. I want the sprinter legs in a fight. Or better yet the wheels of some them rubgy players that look they could carry the whole team down the field.


I haven't said exclusive use of running.
Running in all of its forms is a tool to help you achieve your goals, nothing more.


Also, while true having big/strong legs is desirable, you've got to consider the negatives (/work a training strategy to overcome/negate the negatives)
 
a 3 hour finish for a first time marathoner is very good. lance's cardio translated well into endurance for the marathon.
 

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